Translator: SJade, Editor: Dj22031
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Ye Ning followed the people out of the platform and waited quietly at the exit. After about 10 minutes, the train bound for Yangcheng set off. After waiting for a while, several staff members came out. It seemed that Sun Yaojun got on the train and left.
Breathing a sigh of relief, she turned around and asked someone at the ticket office. First, she asked if there was a train to Nanjiang Province. The sooner she went back, the better, to avoid a long night and many dreams.
After queuing for a while, it was her turn. Taking out her household registration book and letter of introduction, Ye Ning asked: “Do you have a train ticket to Lishan City, Nanjiang Province? When is the fastest time?”
“There is no train to Lishan City. There is a train from Haidong City to Lishan City at seven o’clock the day after tomorrow. Do you want it?” the conductor asked Ye Ning.
“The day after tomorrow? Is there any train earlier than that?” Ye Ning was a little anxious. It was not the same as 20 years later. There were hotels everywhere around the train station, only guest houses, but you couldn’t stay there without a letter of introduction.
“No, this is the only one that passes through Lishan City.”
There was nothing she could do, she would have to go back, even if it was the day after tomorrow.
“Yes, is there a hard sleeper? I don’t want a soft sleeper.” That was a treatment only senior cadres can enjoy. However, after arriving in Lishan City for nearly thirty hours, it would be nice to have a hard sleeper.
The conductor glanced at Ye Ning and said, “No, we are not the departure station. We only have standing tickets. If you want them, hurry up. There are people waiting behind you.”
Ye Ning was stunned, there weren’t even hard seats? Seeing the conductor’s impatient look, she nodded quickly, “Yes, I want it.”
The conductor got the household registration book and the letter of introduction, looked at the letter of introduction emphatically, and then looked up at Ye Ning, “Comrade, your letter of introduction is wrong!”
“What’s wrong?” Ye Ning was shocked. The letter of introduction at this time was equivalent to an ID card. This letter of introduction was issued by the school, so there should be no problem.
“It says from Lishan City to Anqing City, why did you come to Dongshan City?” The conductor told his colleagues and took Ye Ning’s household register and letter of introduction, saying that he had to wait for the police to deal with it.
Ye Ning was dumbfounded. She thought a letter of introduction would be enough. Did the specific address need to be written on it? No, didn’t Sun Yaojun just buy a train ticket?
No, in the original memory, Sun Yaojun seemed to have asked someone to help buy the train ticket. If she was careless, she wouldn’t be labelled as a blind drifter, right?
“Comrade, please come with me.” The police came over quickly and took Ye Ning, who was confused, to the police room not far away. “Tell me, what is the situation?” After hearing the question, Ye Ning suddenly had an idea and looked up at the policeman with a frightened look on his face, “I…I’m going to Anqing. No, I’m going back to Lishan City from Anqing City. I took the wrong train.”
She wanted to squeeze out some tears. She pretended to be pitiful, but her eyes turned red and tears started to fall down. This body was made of water. As long as Ye Ning deliberately thought about grievances or sad things, tears would fall from her eyes instantly.
“Hey! Comrade, please don’t cry yet.” The policeman who asked the question was only in his twenties and had just started working. When he saw such a fragile little girl crying like this, he suddenly panicked.
At this time, an old policeman in his forties came over with a tea cup, glared at the young policeman, and motioned for him to give up his seat. Putting down the tea cup, he opened Ye Ning’s household registration book and letter of introduction, “Is this letter of introduction issued by your school?”
“Yes, it was issued by the leader of our school. I have the school’s phone number. You can call to verify it.”
Ye Ning choked up and said, “I really didn’t mean it. I am a villager from Anren Township, Lishan City, Nanjiang Province. I am now in high school at the No. 2 Middle School in the county. A few days ago, I received a call from my father’s construction site, saying that something happened to my father, I…”
Ye Ning couldn’t hold back her sobs, “I asked our teacher for leave, and they wrote this letter of introduction. I didn’t find out until I got to Anqing City that my dad went to work in a mine in order to make more money. My mother is an educated youth and hasn’t come back since she returned to the city in 1980. Now my father is dead and I still have two younger siblings. What will I do in the future?”
Ye Ning covered her face and cried bitterly, it was false at first, but then she thought about her sudden death from overwork at a young age. Although her life was somehow saved, she had come to a completely unfamiliar world and era, and suddenly she started to cry really hard, and the more she cried, the sadder she became. She wanted to vent out all the grievances, uneasiness, and fears in her heart.
He was a veteran policeman who had been working as a policeman for decades, so he had seen everyone. He could tell at a glance that Ye Ning is not lying. If her father had just died in an accident, it would undoubtedly be a disaster for such a young girl. So, her sitting in the wrong seat in the wrong train was excusable.
Most of his doubts were gone, and the old policeman comforted Ye Ning, “There is no resurrection after death. Your father is gone. As the eldest sister, you should be strong.”
Ye Ning sniffed, cried, and felt much better. She looked at the old policeman and continued: “I know. I packed up my dad’s clothes in Anqing City and planned to go back to my hometown to build a tomb for him, thinking my dad should still have a tomb during the Chinese New Year. He had gone out to earn tuition for me and my younger siblings, but after only three months, he was gone. There is no phone in my hometown, and my younger siblings don’t even know about it. I was so sad that I bought the wrong train ticket. When I arrived, I realized that I was on the wrong train. Comrade police, I did not evade the fare. I paid all the money for the train ticket. I just found out that I was on the wrong train, so I got off at this station and wanted to buy a train ticket to Nanjiang Province and go back. My sister is 15 years old this year, and I have a younger brother who is only 8 years old. The family has been separated for a long time. I have to go home. My parents are gone. If something happens to my younger brother and sister at home, how can I explain to my father?”
Although it was not good to take advantage of other people’s sympathy, in this era, if you suddenly get off the train and want to buy a ticket back to Nanjiang Province, there must be an explanation. Otherwise, she would be arrested as a suspicious person. Once she was judged as a spy, her life might really be in danger.
The old policeman nodded and saw that Ye Ning was still crying and did not continue to ask questions.
In fact, there were still many doubtful points. For example, how could she buy a train ticket from Anqing to Yangcheng? Besides, it took so long to find out that she was on the wrong train after so many stops all day and night?
But it didn’t look like she’s fake and needed to be verified.
He called Ye Ning’s school to confirm that there was indeed Ye Ning in the school. The teacher thought something had happened to Ye Ning, but when he heard that he had taken the wrong train and had reached Chaoyang City, the teacher sighed.
“Maybe she went to find her mother.”
It turned out that her mother, an educated youth, was in Yangcheng. The old policeman understood, said a few words and hung up the phone.
“We have already contacted your school. There is no problem. I will issue a certificate for you later. Use this certificate to buy a train ticket and go home first.” Faced with a little girl whose father had died suddenly, anyone would be tolerant.
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